October 11, 2002
Equine Protection Network, Inc.
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Middleburg, PAMiddleburg Livestock Auction, Route 522 in Franklin Township Snyder County was found guilty on four counts of horse cruelty for offering for sale four horses that were emaciated and lame, illegal under PA anti cruelty laws. Title 18, Section 5511(d). District Justice John T. Robinson fined the auction $200.00 on each count plus court costs. In addition the Judge ordered the horses forfeited to the PA SPCA.
The PA SPCA filed the charges after removing the 4 horses from the auction on June 29, 2002. A full time equine vet testified that it would be cruel to work or use the horses due to their emaciated condition on June 29,2002, the day the horses were offered for sale. All 4 horses were scored less than a 3 on the Henneke Body Scoring Condition Chart by the vet and the 2 PA SPCA Humane Society Police Officers.
The Middleburg Livestock Auction has 30 days to appeal the conviction.
Note: The Middleburg Livestock Auction is under new ownership and has stated their intention to comply with the law.
The EPN has had the PA Anti Cruelty Law on our website for several years in an effort to educate the public regarding this law and the lack of enforcement of the law. The EPN has worked diligently since 1996 for the enforcement of this law at PA horse auctions. The EPN's continued efforts to document the conditions of the horses at these sales and to expose the conditions by putting the pictures up on the Internet for the world to see has brought about the enforcement of this law, changes at some PA horse auctions and raised awareness of this law.
In September 1999 in the first enforcement of this law since it was put on the books in the 1980's the PA State Police arrested 2 dealers from NC for transporting and selling 2 disabled horses. Pictures of the horses
For background on our efforts to have this law enforced.
Earlier this year PA Department of Agriculture released an educational brochure, Fit to Sale. The brochure is NOT the law, rather it contains guidelines to educate the public regarding the condition of horses offered for sale in PA. The law applies to the sale of ALL horses, not just those sold at auction.
We are pleased to see the PA Dept of Ag publish these guidelines and believe this brochure will go a long way toward preventing the illegal sale and transport of sick, lame and debilitated horses in PA.
Please do your part to help the horses by requesting copies of this brochure to distribute to other horse owners and the public.
To request copies, please contact PA Department of Agriculture 717 787-4626.
The PA Anti Cruelty law is in the PA Crimes Code and is enforced by police officers and Humane Society Police Officers.
The local news media has been covering this case.
PA Title 18, Section 5511(d)
Selling or using disabled horse.--A person commits a summary offense if he offers for sale or sells any horse, which by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked or used without violating the laws against cruelty to animals, or leads, rides, drives or transports any such horse for any purpose, except that of conveying the horse to the nearest available appropriate facility for its humane keeping or destruction or for medical or surgical treatment.